- When the legislature passes a law banning the use of marijuana, this is an example of a time when it proscribes the use of marijuana.
- When a religion forbids a specific practice by its believers, this is an example of a proscribe by the religion.
To proscribe is to make something illegal, or to forbid something to be done, or to banish someone for wrongdoing.
transitive verb-·scribed′, -·scrib′ing
- in ancient Rome, to publish the name of (a person) condemned to death, banishment, etc.
- to deprive of the protection of the law; outlaw
- to banish; exile
- to denounce or forbid the practice, use, etc. of; interdict
Origin of proscribeMiddle English proscriben from Classical Latin proscribere from pro-, pro- + scribere, to write: see scribe
transitive verbpro·scribed, pro·scrib·ing, pro·scribes
- To prohibit; forbid: foods that are proscribed by religious dietary laws. See Synonyms at forbid.
- To denounce or condemn: “The small sins of natural pleasure that we see … mildly proscribed in the confession manuals of the late Middle Ages” ( James Turner )
- a. To banish or outlaw (a person): “Emperors took it on themselves to proscribe heretics” ( Garry Wills )b. To publish the name of (a person) as outlawed.
Origin of proscribeMiddle English proscriben from Latin prōscrībere to put up someone's name as outlawed prō- in front ; see pro- 1. scrībere to write ; see skrībh- in Indo-European roots.
- The latter pronunciation is used when added distinction from prescribe is desired.
(third-person singular simple present proscribes, present participle proscribing, simple past and past participle proscribed)
- Avoid the erroneous construction “proscribe against"; substitute “proscribe" alone or the phrase “prescribe against".